Without their All-Star point guard, the Bulls struggle to create on offense. Sure, Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer can score, but that's only going to take you so far in the Eastern Conference this season.
According to ESPN's Nick Friedell, Rose has started cutting on his injured knee. However, there's still not a set return date.
That means Kirk Hinrich and Marquis Teague are still the leading men at the point guard position, and you have to wonder how long the Bulls can remain above .500 without Rose's presence. You could turn to someone like Marco Belinelli or Nate Robinson as well, although that's not very encouraging either.
It's not like Hinrich can't play. He's not a bad point guard at all, even though his three-point shooting (31 percent) is way down this season. Either way though, he's not the type of player that Rose is.
No one is.
The Bulls have capable offensive players right now, but they have no one who can create for them. Rose can slice through a defense like no other. He might settle for his own shot, but he also splays open the defense and allows his teammates to have better looks.
Chicago is ranked 21st in the NBA in scoring offense, and it has the eighth-ranked scoring defense. That's been Tom Thibodeau's idea the entire time, but without Rose, the game plan becomes stale.
The Bulls have no real pace to their attack—instead relying on shooting ability and intelligent passes to the open man. No one can create openings like Rose can; they have to hope the defense gives them to them instead.
This team isn't going to fall off the face of the Earth without their star point guard, but winning anything notable is out of the question. He should be back, barring any setbacks, and this team will have a chance to improve quickly assuming that he's ready to play at a high level.
Rose doesn't do everything well, but he does something that no one else on this team can do. He creates, and that's what a dangerous offense needs.